by Swatee Jog
Belagaum is blessed with doctors who are known for administering effective medicines that don’t bore a hole in your pocket while treating your problem. One among them is Dr. Ashok Sakhdev whom I consulted for my chronic back ache. Along with other oil formulations, he also suggested that I use the paste of the Nirgundi leaves or boil the leaves in water and use a hot press with it.
The search for Nirgundi ended right in my front –yard which had this tree, long neglected and somehow devoid of any glamour. Of late, numerous of my students have benefited from its leaves to cure, what else, back ache! Adding a few leaves of this tree to hot water in a bucket/ tub and dipping your feet in it alleviates pain in the feet.
I helped some students for a while, but then they searched and found this tree in the Fort area. It can be found across Belgaum, hiding among other trees or standing un-noticed. When discussed, many people told me that they’ve been using these leaves to store large quantities of grain and garlic at home. It’s botanical name is Vitex negundo, and is commonly known as the five-leaved chaste tree or Sindhuvar in Sanskrit, Bile Nekki Gida in Kannada and Nirgundi in Marathi and Hindi. Laboratory studies have shown that chemicals isolated from the plant have potential anti- inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal and analgesic activities. No wonder it has been used by many to gain relief from pain. If you know the location of this tree/shrub, do let us know so that it can help us trace.
Swatee Jog is a Training and Placement Officer, Bharatesh Global Business School, Belagavi.